The Russian Revolution Changed The World Forever

ussr-soviet-day

Stephen Millies

Ninety-six years ago on Nov. 7, 1917, workers and peasants overthrew the capitalist government in Russia.

Two million soldiers in the Russian army had died in World War I. Russia was ruled by the cruel Czar Nicholas II.

Like the United States, the Russian Empire was a big prison of oppressed nationalities. Uzbeks, Kazakhs, Poles, Ukrainians, Georgians, Finns, Armenians and other peoples were denied self-determination.

Russian peasants and workers were also oppressed. Many had been serfs, a sort of land slavery. Serf families couldn’t be broken up and sold like cattle, as African slaves were in the U.S., but they could be worked to death. Thirty thousand serfs died building St. Petersburg, the former Russian capital.

Serfdom was abolished in 1861, two years after John Brown’s raid at Harper’s Ferry. The outbreak of the U.S. Civil War may have influenced the czar to get rid of serfdom before the serfs got rid of him.

Lenin and the Bolsheviks

By 1914, serfdom was gone, but 30,000 big landlords still ruled the countryside. The vast majority of people were peasants who couldn’t read or write. Women had no rights.

Foreign capital poured into Russia, grabbing huge profits from long workdays in the factories. Striking workers were shot down.

Oppression breeds revolution. V.I. Lenin was the greatest leader of Russia’s revolution. He built a communist party commonly known as the Bolsheviks.

Lenin was 17 when his older brother Alexander was hanged in 1887 for trying to assassinate Czar Alexander III. That’s the same age Black revolutionary Jonathan Jackson was in 1970, when he was killed trying to free his older brother George Jackson and other political prisoners.

Lenin studied the teachings of Karl Marx. Lenin taught that workers had to be imbued with Marx’s revolutionary knowledge and determination to win.

Soviets vs. pogroms

The first Russian Revolution broke out in 1905. Workers went on strike, shutting down factories and railroads. Peasants burned the gentry’s mansions. Czarism was on the ropes.

Workers formed councils called soviets. These councils had no formal legislative power, but they had great authority among the workers, peasants and soldiers.

European banks poured in loans to save czarist tyranny. The 1905 Revolution was defeated. The czar was able to pit peasant soldiers against workers and even other peasants, just as billionaires divide poor and working people in the U.S. today with racism and anti-immigrant bigotry.

Mass lynchings called pogroms killed Jewish people, just as the Ku Klux Klan did to African Americans here.

The Bolsheviks fought pogroms with guns in hand. Lenin waged war on racism. He enriched Marxism by teaching that workers in the big capitalist countries had to support revolts in the colonies.

“What emotion, enthusiasm, clear- sightedness and confidence it instilled into me!” was how Vietnamese leader Ho Chi Minh described Lenin’s “Theses on the National and Colonial Questions.”

Peace, land and bread

Sick of war and hunger, women textile workers in Petersburg went on strike on March 8, 1917, International Working Women’s Day. The holiday commemorates a 1908 march of women garment workers in New York City.

Five days later, czarism was overthrown. Workers, peasants and soldiers made that revolution, but capitalists controlled the new government.

For the next eight months Lenin’s Bolsheviks won millions of poor people to socialist revolution by demanding bread, peace and land. Despite Lenin and other leaders being forced underground, Bolsheviks won majorities in the soviets that sprung up everywhere.

These soviets overthrew capitalist politician Alexander Kerensky on Nov. 7 (Oct. 25 by the old Russian calendar). Many peoples, not just Russians, rose up to break their chains.

Peasants threw out their landlords. Bolsheviks exposed secret treaties among the imperialists that divided up colonies. This revolutionary energy helped overthrow Germany’s kaiser and end World War I in 1918.

Capitalist governments, including the U.S., then waged war against the Soviets on a dozen fronts. But the Red Army, organized and led by another Bolshevik leader, Leon Trotsky, was victorious.

The 73-year war

Following Lenin’s death the enormous difficulties involved in trying to build socialism in a very underdeveloped country, encircled by imperialism, led to struggles in the party and then to backward steps. Soviet leader Joseph Stalin purged Bolshevik opponents while making concessions to careerists and increasing inequality.

Nevertheless, at the same time the Soviet Union launched the first and biggest affirmative action program in history. Every person had the right to education in their own language. The Soviet five-year plans created the world’s second-biggest economy. Everyone had a job.

But the Soviet Union remained the target of world capitalism. German big capital handed power to Adolph Hitler’s Nazi Party so the Nazis could crush the German working class. German imperialism invaded the Soviet Union in 1941.

With Stalin leading the government, the Soviet Union defeated Hitler, but nearly 26 million Soviet people died in World War II. The Red Army liberated all of Eastern Europe from Nazi rule, including the extermination camp at Auschwitz.

The Pentagon spent $5.5 trillion on nuclear weapons aimed at the Soviet Union. This relentless pressure undermined socialist solidarity and finally led to the downfall of the Soviet Union in 1991.

Despite this tremendous defeat, the lessons of the October Revolution will live forever.

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Russian Revolution Still a Shining Example

worker-kolkhoz.jpg

Eugene Puryear

(Originally posted in Nov. 2009 and updated slightly.)

Nov. 7 marks the 96th anniversary of the 1917 Russian Revolution. While the revolution itself could be considered a more drawn-out process, Nov. 7 stands as its most outstanding date. When the majority of workers, peasants and soldiers took over state and governmental power, for the first time in the history of class society a country was not controlled and governed by a tiny group of monarchists, capitalists or other exploiting class.

Just six months before, all actors in the political drama had considered it impossible for such a revolution to occur so soon.

Prior to the revolution, the Russian Empire—roughly the same territory later covered by the Soviet Union—was ruled by the czar, or emperor. The czar had absolute power. He ruled both through the Russian Orthodox Church, which created a religious veneer for the regime, and by virtue of his hereditary position as the richest and most central of a group of feudal princes who divided the land amongst themselves.

Small in number, they had tied the vast majority of the country, some four-fifths of the population, to the land like feudal serfs. Although serfdom was formally abolished in 1861, serf-like conditions continued well into the 20th century. Along with the feudal remnants of the 17th century, a section of the nobility wished not only to emulate Europe but also to establish the place of the ruling classes of Russia alongside those of Britain, France and Germany—that is, the most powerful capitalist countries of Europe. That meant Russia also had to develop capitalist industry.

The czar, however, was aware that popular forces led by the capitalist class had overthrown the absolute monarchs in Western Europe. He therefore sought to control the process and preserve the aristocratic class. Capitalism in Russia thus developed in its own peculiar and somewhat “deformed” way. As a proportion of the economy, industry remained relatively small. However, in technique it matched the advanced nations of Western Europe, and indeed foreign, mostly British and French, investors owned most of Russian industry.

The workers were drawn from the peasantry, closely connecting the two laboring classes. Many of Russia’s new capitalists were also landowners and part of the nobility. Illiteracy, poverty, hunger, disease and poor housing ravaged the lives of both the workers and the peasants, in sharp distinction to the great wealth and high living of the czar and aristocracy.

Elements of the new capitalist class in Russia, however, chafed under the czar, as did many of the intelligentsia. Both sectors resented and felt oppressed by the czar’s absolute power. These pressures accompanied the demands of the workers and peasants for more economic and political rights.

War lays basis for revolution

When Russia followed France and England into the First World War, social tensions inside the empire became exacerbated. By 1917, war had wreaked a terrible toll. The brunt of the hundreds of thousands of deaths was borne by the peasants, who were forcibly conscripted. Hunger, disease and poor living conditions ravaged the rank-and-file soldiers just as the rest of the exploited classes.

It was under these pressures that the czar’s regime finally fell. On International Women’s Day, Feb. 23, 1917, on the Gregorian calendar, women textile workers launched a strike in Petrograd, the capital of Russia. Over five days, the textile workers’ strike grew into a general strike, and the army split, with rank-and-file soldiers coming over to the side of the workers.

It took five days for the czar’s government in Petrograd to fall, and some months for the monarchy to be swept away in various parts of the country. Parties representing the capitalists, petty capitalist elements and, purportedly, the peasantry, formed a provisional government.

The reformist socialists—the Mensheviks—and the peasant-based Social Revolutionary Party supported the provisional government. The Mensheviks justified their support for the new bourgeois government by arguing that the revolution would have to pass through a separate “bourgeois” stage where a capitalist republic would be established, with formal democratic rights, as a prerequisite for a socialist revolution. Until their central leader, Vladimir I. Lenin, returned from forced exile in April 1917, the Bolshevik Party, too, gave support to the new regime.

The provisional government, however, was very fragile. The weak Russian capitalist class, totally dependent on Anglo-French imperialism, could not end Russia’s involvement in the war. Prostrate before the Western imperialists, and with little to no independent social base, forces of the provisional government began to move closer to monarchist elements scheming to return to power.

Meanwhile, the workers and peasants had created their own structures of power—soviets. The soviets, or councils, were mass democratic organs based in the factories, districts and military units, as well in some parts of the countryside.

Thus, a type of “dual power” arose. On the one hand, the precarious provisional government was besieged on all sides, unable to end the war or meet the workers’ and peasants’ other social and economic demands. And on the other, the soviets of soldiers, workers and peasants potentially represented the interests of the toiling, exploited masses, who continued to clamor for relief from the jaws of war and poverty.

In April 1917, Bolshevik leader Lenin arrived in Petrograd and grasped the situation immediately. He understood that the nascent Russian capitalist class could not end the war and would not touch the great landed estates or capitalist industry, leaving all the demands of the masses unmet. He argued that instead the soviets of soldiers’, workers’, and peasants’ deputies should take power in their own name.

Rather than depend on the provisional government to provide “Land, Peace, and Bread,” they should gather all the power in the organs of the working masses, demanding and achieving “All Power to the Soviets.” When Lenin first produced his famous April Theses, only a small minority of the party’s Central Committee supported his position. But the force of his arguments and the unfolding of events soon won over the Bolshevik leaders and rapidly growing rank-and-file membership.

On Nov. 7 (Oct. 25 according to the old Russian calendar) the workers, peasants and soldiers rose again, and it was these two slogans that drew them over to the Bolsheviks, giving the revolutionary communists leadership of the soviets. Under that leadership, the workers in alliance with the peasantry deposed the provisional government and assumed total control through the soviets.

This “October Revolution” reverberated all around the world. In China, where Marxism had no history, small circles of revolutionaries began to discuss the ideas of communism. Among them was Mao Tse-tung who urged the Chinese people to “Arise and Imitate” the great popular unity of the October rising. Two years later, in May 1920, Mao and the few other communists formed the Chinese Communist Party, which went on to lead the great Chinese Revolution of 1949.

Over time, when at the peak of its power, U.S. imperialism, along with its imperialist allies, succeeded in dividing the world communist movement and containing the Russian Revolution, leading to the overthrow of the Soviet Union and to other major working-class defeats.

Millions have looked to the Russian Revolution for inspiration, however, because it continues to stand as a shining example of how the majority of society, its exploited and oppressed masses, can under the leadership of a revolutionary party take power in their own hands, mold it in their favor and take a giant leap toward wiping away all vestiges of exploitation.

With capitalism entering an era of deepening crisis, and U.S. imperialism in apparently irreversible decline, the beacon of the October Revolution shines brighter than ever.

EU Attempts to Reignite Syrian Conflict

New Worker

Syria, Russia and Iran have condemned the European Union’s decision to end its arms embargo on Syria. The Syrian government said: “The recent EU decision proves they are hindering the international efforts aimed at achieving a political settlement to the crisis in Syria based on national dialogue among Syrians”. And Iran warned that some EU states had taken a wrong and dangerous stand in supporting the terrorists which can only undermine international efforts to end the fighting.

Meanwhile US Senator and former Republican presidential candidate John Mc- Cain paid a surprise visit to the rebels in northern Syria on Monday. The leading American war-monger entered Turkey and then sneaked across the border into Syria where he met with leaders of the “Free Syrian Army”. McCain represents the most aggressive sections of the American ruling class and he has constantly pushed for more direct US involvement in the conflict, including arming the rebels.

The EU move, taken at a foreign ministers’ conference in Brussels on Monday, was pushed through by Britain and France despite opposition from many other member states. Fourteen members, led by Austria, Sweden and the Czech Republic, were against lifting arms embargo. Germany expressed caution while Italy and Cyprus backed Britain and France.

Foreign Secretary William Hague naturally hailed the Anglo-French initiative, saying that all the sanctions would be maintained against the Syrian government, but lifted for the rebels — paving the way to open weapons sales to the “Free Syrian Army”, the Muslim Brotherhood and al Qaida gangs that are fighting to overthrow the Baathist-led popular front government in Damascus.

Back in Moscow Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the EU has made a “double mistake” in imposing the embargo in the first place and then refusing to extend it. Lavrov said that lifting the arms ban would only aggravate the situation in Syria and hinder progress towards the Russian-American sponsored international peace conference to end the fighting in Syria.

The Kremlin now says it will go ahead with deliveries of S-300 anti-aircraft missiles to Syria, and that the arms will help deter foreign intervention. Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said the missiles were a “stabilising factor” that could dissuade “some hotheads” from entering the conflict.

Russia agreed to supply Syria with S-300s some years ago but delayed delivery last year following Nato protests. The truck-mounted missiles are capable of striking multiple targets simultaneously with a range of up to 200 km and the system is designed to defend large administrative centres, industrial complexes and military bases.

The Syrian armed forces are winning the war against the NATO-backed rebels — a fact now acknowledged by German intelligence. Germany’s foreign intelligence agency (BND) believes that the foreign-sponsored militant groups in Syria are facing extreme difficulties in the battle and says the Syrian army is capable of conducting successful operations against the foreign-backed militias “at will”. Gerhard Schindler, the head of the BND, told security officials that the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is now more stable than it has been in a long time. This is a fundamental reversal from last summer, when the BND predicted that the Syrian government would collapse by early 2013.

Schindler visited Syria earlier in the month for talks with the chief of the Syrian national security agency about the presence of German extremists in the country.

According to the German media the BND currently believes that the foreign-sponsored militant groups in Syria, which include several al-Qaida- affiliated groups, are in deep trouble.

Syrian security forces have inflicted major losses on the rebels in the strategic western city of Qusayr including the chief commander of the terrorist group al-Nusra Front, Abu Omar, who was killed in the fighting in the city last week.

Schindler says that the rebels are fighting each other to gain supremacy in certain regions. There is no functional chain of command between the leaders of the foreign- backed Syrian opposition and its armed elements inside the country, the BND head stated, adding that each new battle weakens the militants further.

Schindler said the Syrian army could regain control of the entire south of the country by the end of 2013 if the conflict continues as it has over the past week and the Syrian army has managed to cut supply lines for weapons and evacuation routes for wounded militants to neighbouring countries.

While Anglo-American and French imperialism move closer to open aggression against Syria the struggle for peace continues. As President Assad said last week: “Syria is determined to tackle terrorism and those who support it regionally and globally, and to find a political solution to the crisis.”

NATO’s Syrian Puppets On the Run

New Worker

The Syrian army has launched a new drive against the Nato-backed rebels sweeping them off the major motorway that runs from Damascus to the coast and rooting them out of their terrorist hide-outs in northern Syria and the Damascus countryside.

But confusion surrounds the whereabouts of two Greek Orthodox bishops kidnapped on Monday by the Islamic fanatics, who are increasingly focusing their venom against the Syria’s Christian communities that have remained loyal to the Baathist-led popular front government.

The government of Bashar al Assad is working with the opposition forces in the Syrian parliament as well as endorsing Russian initiatives for a broad dialogue with all opposition forces to end the civil strife and work for national reconciliation within the boundaries of the new constitution.

The Syrian army is advancing on several fronts as part of its fresh widescale operation to wrest control over rebellious areas across the country, local media reported Wednesday.

Syrian troops have broken the rebel siege on the Wadi al-Daif encampments in northwestern Syria to secure the road between the central province of Hama and the north-western province of Idlib all the way to Aleppo province. The road between the capital Damascus and the southern province of Daraa and the borders with Jordan is now open, and the army has cleared the road between Damascus and the central province of Homs as well as areas along the border with Lebanon.

The Syrian army has thwarted every attempt of the rebel Muslim Brotherhood militias and Al Qaida gangs to create a rebel controlled “safe-haven” on Syrian soil. Nato and feudal Arab arms and money still have to be funnelled across the border with Turkey and it’s increasingly clear that continued support of the imperialists and their Arab lackeys is the only thing that is prolonging the violence.

Imperialist dreams of a Libyan-style “regime change” in Syria have failed because the strength of the Syrian armed forces and the determination of the Syrian people as a whole to resist sectarian violence and foreign intervention.

And that is increasing being recognised by Syria’s Arab foes. The Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt finally dropped its demand for Assad’s resignation this week, in favour of talks between the Syrian government and all the opposition groups to end the fighting. Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamal Amr said his country’s new stance was prompted by the “need to reach a political solution for the Syrian crisis that guarantees the preservation of the unity of the Syrian people.”

In the European Union there’s renewed concern at the growth of Islamic fundamentalism in Syria and fears of an Afghan-style backlash when the Nato-inspired revolt collapses. European intelligence chiefs fear that some have joined Al Qaida and could return to Europe to launch terror attacks.

The EU’s own anti- terror chief, Gilles de Kerchove, claimed this week that some 500 European Muslims are now fighting in Syria. Most of them have come from Britain, France and Ireland. “Not all of them are radical when they leave, but most likely many of them will be radicalised there, will be trained,” de Kerchove said.

Meanwhile Russia has stepped up its humanitarian aid to the Syrian people by sending planeloads of supplies to Syrian airports as well as to Lebanon and Jordan to help refugees forced to leave their homes by the armed terrorist groups. At the same time a flotilla from Russia’s Pacific naval fleet is heading towards to eastern Mediterranean. The ships, which include an anti-submarine ship and two landing- craft, are believed to heading to the Russian naval base in the Syrian port of Tartus.

USA’s New Cold War Against Russia and China

Zhao Jinglun

If NATO further expands to Georgia and Ukraine, crossing the Kremlin’ s “Red Line,” hostility would be further heightened. The missile-defense installations are supposedly aimed at Iran, but do pose a direct threat to Russia in the event of a nuclear first strike.

Former president Bill Clinton started his illegal air war over Kosovo ostensibly to save Kosovo Albanians from being massacred by the Serbs. The real purpose, however, has been rumored to be Moscow’s deprivation of its last European ally, Serbia.

Moscow has steadfastly opposed Western efforts to block Iran’s nuclear program as those efforts could be designed to support a regime change that would pave the way for Western penetration into Central Asia.

Russia has just published its new foreign policy concept in which President Vladimir Putin indicates that the most important aspect of Moscow’s foreign strategy is to strengthen its ties with China. The two countries hold the same principle on core issues in international politics and that can constitute a basic element in maintaining regional and global stability. Russia will engage in full spectrum foreign policy cooperation with China when dealing with new challenges or menaces, as well as in solving regional and global problems.

This may not exactly be what the Obama administration wants to hear. It has succeeded in stirring up conflict between China and Japan; but has been unable to sow any dissension between China and Russia. Its efforts to “reset” the relations with the Kremlin ended in slight disappointment.

Indeed, U.S.-Russia relations are now seemingly at their nadir. The publication of Moscow’s new foreign policy concept was delayed as Putin wanted to emphasize the principle of non-intervention in Russia’s internal affairs. He especially resents the humiliating Magnitsky Act, which was overwhelmingly passed by the U.S. Congress and signed by President Barack Obama. Moscow retaliated by banning the American adoption of Russian orphans.

Stephen F. Cohen, Russian expert and professor emeritus at NYU and Princeton, is even talking about a potential new Cold War. As one Chinese saying goes, “It takes more than one cold day for the river to freeze three-feet-deep. ” Cohen points to four components of U.S. policy resented by Moscow:

* NATO expansion to Russia’s borders which now includes European missile-defense installations. This poses the most serious threat to Russian security. If NATO further expands to Georgia and Ukraine, crossing the Kremlin’ s “Red Line,” hostility would be further heightened. The missile-defense installations are supposedly aimed at Iran, but do pose a direct threat to Russia in the event of a nuclear first strike. Moscow has demanded participation in the European system, failing that, a written guarantee that it will never be directed against Russia. It was rebuffed on both counts.

* “Selective cooperation, ” or the obtaining of concessions from the Kremlin without any meaningful White House reciprocity. Putin has never forgotten his vital role in the 2001 U.S. war in Afghanistan and was later rewarded by George W. Bush’s further NATO expansion and tearing up of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.

* “Democracy promotion” in Russia’s domestic politics, viewed by Russian leaders as an intolerable interference with their internal affairs. The National Endowment for Democracy openly funded Russian NGOs.

* Last but not least, high-level Moscow circles have repeatedly complained that “the Americans do not care about our national security.”

It is unlikely that Washington will make any meaningful concessions on these four issues. So the chill in relations will probably continue.

In fact, the clash of strategic interests has a long history. Former president Bill Clinton started his illegal air war over Kosovo ostensibly to save Kosovo Albanians from being massacred by the Serbs. The real purpose, however, has been rumored to be Moscow’s deprivation of its last European ally, Serbia.

Moscow has steadfastly opposed Western efforts to block Iran’s nuclear program as those efforts could be designed to support a regime change that would pave the way for Western penetration into Central Asia.

Russia has also blocked Western efforts to intervene in Syria, its ally in the Middle East, where it has a naval base at Tartus.

The Kremlin also pursues a hard line refusing to return the Northern Territories (four islands), which Moscow calls the Southern Kurils, to Japan. It is not just a conflict with Japan. It is also a response to the United States’ pivot towards Asia and the (Asia) Pacific region – Russia also considers itself a Pacific power. The latest incident occurred on February 12, the day President Obama delivered his State of the Union Address.

The U.S. military reported that two Russian “Bear” (TU-95) strategic bombers, capable of carrying nuclear cruise missiles, visited the U.S. strategic island Guam (Moscow denied this). U.S. Air Force F-15 jets were scrambled from Andersen Air Force Base to intercept the intruders. Nevertheless, both sides “stayed professional. ”

U.S. military officials hold that ever since Putin reclaimed the Russian presidency, the number of such flights in the vicinity of the Aleutian Islands and Alaska has increased, but encounters with U.S. aircrafts have generally remained “very professional. ”

Neither side is looking for a fight; but they’re not on the best of terms either.

The author is a columnist with China.org.cn.

Russia Stunned by West Supporting Terrorism in Syria

Xinhua News Agency

Western countries had adopted double standards in assessing terrorist actions in Syria, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said Wednesday.

“By blocking in the UN Security Council condemnation of the terror attacks in Syria, the Western countries have confirmed their double standards in assessing terrorists acts,” Gatilov wrote on Twitter.

The West categorized terrorists as “good” and “bad,” and believed the international community could turn a blind eye to attacks committed by these “good terrorists,” Gatilov said.

Russia submitted two draft statements at the UN Security Council (UNSC) on Monday condemning terror attacks in Syria and Iraq.

“This is puzzling that, due to the non-constructive position of a number of the UNSC members, the draft statement on terror attacks in (the Syrian city of) Aleppo has not been passed,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement, adding the Western arguments meant a departure from the UN principle that no terror actions could be justified.

“Such a position connives with terrorism and facilitates further escalation of violence in Syria,” it said.

Also Wednesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called the Western attitude “regrettable” and “stunning.”

The UNSC always condemned terror attacks and stressed the act of terror was unacceptable, whatever the reasons behind it. This time, some Western countries diverted from that position after a bombing attack against Syria’s Security Service premises, Lavrov told reporters in the Kazakh capital of Astana.

“The West explained that this was not a terror attack in the full sense of the word. I was stunned with that,” he said.

A car bomb went off near a government checkpoint in Syria’s Idlib province on Wednesday. On Sunday, three cars blew up in Aleppo, killing 47 people and injuring more than 100.

Pussy Riot, Empire’s Unfortunate Dupes

Also see: Pussy Riot and “Human Rights” Hypocrites

Paul Craig Roberts

My heart goes out to the three Russian women who comprise the Russian rock band, Pussy Riot. They were brutally deceived and used by the Washington-financed NGOs that have infiltrated Russia. Pussy Riot was sent on a mission that was clearly illegal under statutory law.

You have to admire and to appreciate the spunk of the women. But you have to bemoan their gullibility. Washington needed a popular issue with which to demonize the Russian government for standing up to Washington’s intention to destroy Syria, just as Washington destroyed Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya, and as Washington intends to destroy Lebanon and Iran.

By intentionally offending religious worshipers-which would be a hate crime in the US and its European, Canadian, and British puppet states-the women violated a statutory Russian law.

Prior to the women’s trial, Russian President Putin expressed his opinion that the women should not be harshly punished. Taking the cue from Putin, the judge gave the women, deceived and betrayed by the American-financed NGOs, two years instead of seven years.

The women were not waterboarded, raped, or forced to sign false confessions, all well-established practices of American “justice.”

The chances were good that after six months Putin would see that the women are released. But, of course, that would not serve the propaganda of the American Empire. The instructions to the Washington-financed fifth column in Russia will be to make any government leniency for Pussy Riot impossible.

Washington-organized protests, riots, property damage, assaults on state and religious images by Washington’s Russian dupes can make it impossible for Putin to stand up to nationalist opinion and commute the sentences of the Pussy Riot women.

Distrust of the Russian government and dissension within Russia are what Washington wants. As Washington continues to murder vast numbers of people around the globe, Washington will point its finger at the fate of Pussy Riot. The western bought-and-paid-for presstitute media will focus on Russia’s evil, not on the evil of Washington, London, and the EU puppet states who are slaughtering Muslims by the bucket-full.

The disparity between human rights in the west and in the east is astonishing. When a Chinese trouble-maker sought protection from Washington, the Chinese “authoritarian” government allowed the person to leave for America. But when Julian Assange, who, unlike the presstitute western media, actually provides truthful information for the western peoples, was granted political asylum by Ecuador, Great (sic) Britain, bowing to the country’s American master, refused the obligatory free passage from the UK.

The UK government, unlike the Chinese government, doesn’t mind violating international law, because it will be paid buckets of money by Washington for being a pariah state.

As Karl Marx said, money turns everything into a commodity that can be bought and sold: government, honor, morality, the writing of history, legality. Nothing is immune to purchase. This development of capitalism has reached the highest stage in the US and its puppet states, the governments of which sell out the interest of their peoples in order to please Washington and be made rich, like Tony Blair’s $35 million. Sending their citizens to fight for Washington’s empire in distant parts of the world is the service for which the utterly corrupt European politicians are paid. Despite the wondrous entity known as European Democracy, the European and British peoples are unable to do anything about their misuse in Washington’s interest. This is a new form of slavery. If a country is an American ally, its people are American slaves.

The international attention focused on Pussy Riot, an obscure rock group which apparently has no recordings on the market, demonstrates the complicity of the Western media in US propaganda. Pussy Riot is not the Beatles of the 1960s. I doubt that most of the young people demonstrating in favor of Pussy Riot had ever before heard of the group or have any understanding of how they are being manipulated.

There are so many more important issues on which media attention should be focused. There is Bradley Manning’s illegal detention and torture by the US government. Manning has already been in prison without trial for longer than Pussy Riot’s sentence!

What is Manning’s “crime.” No one knows. Washington accuses him of doing his duty under the US Military Code and revealing the war crime of the “thrill killing” of civilians by US military personnel and of releasing documents to WikiLeaks revealing the mendacity of the US government. In other words, Manning is a hero, and so off he is dragged to the torture chamber.

WikiLeaks Julian Assange, accused of posting on the Internet the leaked documents, is confined to the Ecuadorean embassy in London. The British “human rights” regime refuses to abide by international law and allow Assange, who has been granted political asylum by Ecuador, safe passage. Everyone familiar with international law knows that asylum takes precedence over the other legal claims, especially specious ones.

Washington has armed and financed outsiders to destroy Syria and to break the country up into warring factions. Instead of protesting this heinous act by Washington, the world protests the Syrian government for resisting its overthrow by Washington. I don’t think that even George Orwell imagined that the peoples of the world were this utterly stupid.

In “free and democratic” America, President Obama refuses to obey a federal court order to cease and desist from violating the clear, unambiguous Constitutional rights of US citizens. Instead, the President of the United States defies the court’s order and continues to hold US citizens in indefinite detention, and there is no movement to impeach this tyrant. To the contrary, the US is presented as the example of democracy to the world.

Where are the protests?